Thursday, May 2, 2013

When "loneliness" is the only option...

It is human nature to crave company and enjoy being around others (although there are some people that like to be alone!). We all live in a world where the central mission is to enrich each other's lives and learn from our daily interactions.
I don't think it's natural to want to be completely ALONE and it can get quite sad.  People who go through break ups and divorces experience their share of pain and suffering; just like people who lose a loved one, or move to a new place...but they still have other options.. their lives still go on...
Then I wonder, what happens when "loneliness" is the ONLY option?  What happens when we reach a point in our lives when there are no new friends, when we no longer have a life partner or even the option of seeking one?
In my work (I'm an case manager for the elderly), I come across a lot of very lonely people; many of them have families who don't love them, or have become widowed after several (50+) years of marriage and many never even had children or partners so all they have is themselves...
Yesterday was one of those days when I met a special someone who was extremely lonely and she really touched my heart... Her name is Mrs. G and she is the sweetest old lady, full of life even at 87 years old.  She greeted me with a warm smile and gave me a tight hug.  As I went on with the interview she told me she had lost her husband less than two years ago, after almost 60 years of marriage...he was very sick with Alzheimer's disease and didn't even know who she was anymore, but she still took care of him until his last days and loved him until the very end...She had tears in her eyes and told me about how much she misses him and how she wishes he was still here...she told me about how hard it was to live her lonely life and how she has a daughter who is so busy with her own life that she barely ever sees her.. she told me so many things and I just listened.. and stared.. and listened... and stared some more... it was such a sad, emotional and heart felt moment.. one of those times when I think about how vulnerable life can be and how much we need company and the love of those around us... while they're still around us and while we can still enjoy their company...
Meeting Mrs. G reminded me once again that relationships are fragile, and volatile and beautiful and crazy and necessary.. and a lot of other things that come to mind.. Relationships need work and love.. and they are important.. VERY IMPORTANT...because people are not forever...because we won't always have the luxury to say "I love you" to those we love..and we won't always have them next to us to keep us company and get us through tough times... because one day loneliness will be the only option and we won't be able to do anything about it... So cherish the love and company of those who bring a smile to your face...
To my husband.. I LOVE YOU more than words can say.. to my family: you're my livelihood and the reason I am who I am.. to my friends: you're all so important to me in ways you could never imagine and I thank God for you all every day!...
I hope I am never lonely and sad like Mrs. G.. and I hope that if I ever am, I will have enough memories of all of you to get me through the years.. until the end of my days....

2 comments:

Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...

Beautiful. What a good reminder for us all.

Mari said...

I love you!